New look for the Victoria Park subway station (Brown and Storey)

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by Darkstar416, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Darkstar416

    Darkstar416 Guest

    Just found this on the Spacing (Wire)...

    Sounds like a fantastic idea!

    TTC to reconnect station to its landscape

    The TTC has hired noted Toronto landscape architects Brown + Storey to help re-configure Victoria Park station and re-connect it to the ravine landscape bordering the station. A story about the project in the National Post includes some interesting thoughts on the relationship between landscape and engineering, along with information about the area’s history.

    The project will also create better connections between the various buildings, parks and travel routes that exist around the station without, at the moment, really connecting to it:

    The public spaces around Victoria Park station — described by Mr. Brown as “mushroom spaces†— are dark and poorly designed. The station “gets a lot of public use at all hours and there hasn’t been a lot of consideration given to the way it connects with the surrounding community,†he says.

    “You have a ravine that runs through the area which is both historic and central to the topography of Toronto and you have the infrastructure of the subway system itself,†he comments. “What we want is an improvement between the Victoria station, housing, the parks, the way these areas are lit, safe walkways, proper building frontages, a redesign of bus stations and a more clearly defined relationship between all of these elements.â€

    It’s an important initiative. Many parts of Toronto suffer from this lack of connection between buildings, parks, travel routes and public destinations within a local area. It shows just how important public spaces are to binding a neighbourhood together, and how much they have been neglected in development and city planning. It is one of the biggest discouragements to walking as a form of travel — the ways of getting where one might want to go are neither convenient nor pleasant. Now, if only the same overhaul could be done across the whole city … but at least it’s a start.
     
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  2. Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    i actually think this is terrible news. it says to me that the ttc has decided to stand pat with vic park, which is a let down from past talk of selling the air rights and redeveloping the station's lands.
     
    #2
  3. spmarshall

    spmarshall Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    The ravine is north of the station, while the developable lands (the bus terminal, park and ride) are to the south. The bus terminal will have to be replaced (it being like old Eglinton, Warden and Islington with individual slots fed with multiple stairwells rather than an island configuration) for accessibility and state-of-good-repair anyway, so I figure that will continue to be a possibility.

    If the reconfiguration deals with the subway platforms and the ground floor under the tracks and the north facade, it is great news. If it involves the whole station without redevelopment than I will feel that it is an improvement, but with wasted potential.
     
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  4. Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    Conceptual Master Plan for the area:

    www.toronto.ca/planning/p...sept14.pdf

    Open space in the north and west of Warden station mainly - the rest of the area will be densified.

    AoD
     
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  5. SD2

    SD2 Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    Improvements are good news. I've always liked this area for some reason, and I have no idea why.
     
    #5
  6. Ed007Toronto

    Ed007Toronto Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    What's Warden station have to do with Vic Park station?
     
    #6
  7. rbtaylor

    rbtaylor Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    The city is putting together zoning, etc. plans for the area around both stations.

    www.toronto.ca/planning/w...icpark.htm
     
    #7
  8. ganjavih

    ganjavih Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    Yeah, me too... and I'm not quite sure why. It seems like a pleasant working class neighbourhood. I like the greenery and it's especially nice in the fall.
     
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  9. green22

    green22 Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    The closer you look at the Warden development (zoom in) the worse the pedestrian circulation looks. Like a suburb there are few streets which intersect with what are considered arterials here, Warden and Danforth. The routes to the supermarket and transit are indirect. I suppose they expect people to walk along that nature trail behind the parking lot and industrial building to get to the subway station. The only other way is along Warden, which would be the long way for most in this development.
     
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  10. SD2

    SD2 Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    Probably the same with me. I've spent some time at that strip mall at Vic. Park and Danforth, and there's something about that I like as well. I have noticed that east of Vic. Park things seem to become a lot more sparse quite quickly...but west is quite dense with the same type of retail, etc. you find along the rest of Bloor & the Danforth.
     
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  11. Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    "The city is putting together zoning, etc. plans for the area around both stations."

    They still have little to do with each other aside from the fact that both can be easily displayed on the same map.

    "The closer you look at the Warden development (zoom in) the worse the pedestrian circulation looks. Like a suburb there are few streets which intersect with what are considered arterials here, Warden and Danforth. The routes to the supermarket and transit are indirect. I suppose they expect people to walk along that nature trail behind the parking lot and industrial building to get to the subway station. The only other way is along Warden, which would be the long way for most in this development."

    Remember that some of these new houses will be over a kilometre from Warden station...for some it will be quicker to get on the 113 and go to Main station, or just get on the Warden bus. I wouldn't say there's a lack of pedestrian access to Warden or Danforth at all other than at the very south most part.
     
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  12. green22

    green22 Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    I wouldn't say there's a lack of pedestrian access to Warden or Danforth at all other than at the very south most part.

    The surrounding areas allow streets to connect with the arterials as a rule. This is one of the major differences between a main street and an arterial.

    In the aftermath of amalgamation was the passage in 2000 of a consolidated Road Classification System, which reflected suburban values more than those of the old downtown

    The Road Classification System also placed control over the entire system of road rights-of-way–the major portion of the city’s public realm –under the control of Transportation Services (vehicles).
    www.plannersnetwork.org/p.../etter.htm

    Excerpts from Toronto's new road classification system..

    Traffic movement vs. Access:
    Minor arterials: traffic movement primary consideration, some property acess control
    Major arterials: Traffic movement primary consideration, subject to property access control

    Desirable connections:
    Minor arterials: local, collectors, arterials
    Major arterials: collectors, arterials

    20M rights-of-way exist on older arterial roads. New arterials should have wider rights-of-way.
    www.toronto.ca/transporta...ations.pdf

    Transportation department officials who took control of preamalgamation Toronto roads after amalgamation are primarily interested in moving as many vehicles as possible as quickly as possible. Their methods are to build wider roads, turning lanes and fewer intersections whenever opportunities occur.
    This is why any imposition of a grid, or connected direct streets will be fought by the traffic department in new developments. How many streets cross or have a traffic light with Spadina through City Place (1). How many connections on the proposed 2 lane Front street local road through the new Liberty Village development (1). Modernistic Regent Park, Thorncliffe Park and other public housing came with pedestrian streets (like Liberty Village towns & City Place W) to reduce cross traffic.

    Less traffic lights, less cross traffic, evertyone wins?
    Transit, street retail and densities are often concentrated on the arterials (especially in suburban areas where arterials are the only through streets and high densities are used as traffic buffers). Fast streets with few street crossings are hard to cross, this hurts business as well as access to transit stops and depresses the desirability of walking in general. Or as stated earlier, the difference between a main street and an arterial.
    That's the reason why so few streets cross or touch Danforth or Woodbine and why traffic lights (crossing) will be limited. Why proposals for direct street connections lost out to access control and long blocks on the arterials.

    Recent harmonizations (homognization)

    Parking space sizes:
    Staff recomended increasing the mandatory size of parking spaces to suburban levels.
    www.toronto.ca/zoning/parking.htm

    Local street widths:
    Staff recommended increasing minimum street and lane widths to suburban dimensions. You can read the comments and read that neither private industry, residents or online repondents were in favour of wider pavement widths, however that was what was reccommended.
    www.toronto.ca/legdocs/20.../cl002.pdf

    Here is the next one..
    Harmonization of front yard parking (4 locations)
    Will more lawns be paved? driveway dimensions & boulevard parking. Staff has already told us that they plan to legalize boulevard parking, because so many people do it anyways- enforcement didn't seem to be an option.

    Jan 16 Etobicoke Civic Centre

    Jan 17 Metro Hall

    Jan 18 North York Civic Centre

    Jan 19 Scarborough Civic Centre

    -All Meetings @ 7:00 pm
    Further info: ZoningProject@toronto.ca
    416.392.0194
     
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  13. wyliepoon

    wyliepoon Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    I don't think there's any way Warden Station can be improved unless it is demolished and rebuilt from scratch. I've said it before... I think Warden is the ugliest station in the system.
     
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  14. Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    "The surrounding areas allow streets to connect with the arterials as a rule. This is one of the major differences between a main street and an arterial."

    Did you even look at a map? There will be 3 new streets connecting with Danforth and 5 new streets connecting with Warden. They can't put a new street at the southern end because of existing houses along Mack Ave - which is not even an arterial street.
     
    #14
  15. green22

    green22 Guest

    Re: TTC hires Brown & Storey to reconfigure Vic Park Sta

    www.toronto.ca/planning/p...sept14.pdf

    Try to look at it from an urban grid connected street perspective as exists in the surrounding area. The figures I come up with are
    Warden street (N. of St.Clair) proposed 2, with grid 4
    Warden street (S. of St.Clair) proposed 5, with grid 13
    Danforth proposed 3, with grid 7

    For the 3 sections or arterial in the development a total of 14(10-24 =-14) street connections (give or take 1 or 2 streets) were omitted that would have occured under grid/connected street conditions. None of these connections would require connecting through existing housing or businesses.

    The methods used to eliminate street (sidewalk) access to the arterial streets were typical. Replacing some streets with pedestrian only paths, and not letting other streets continue through the development.
    Another problem with long blocks are that they tend to be less interesting and limit connections. Arterials are the most important streets to connect with. None of our successful main streets have blocks this long. To really see the difference in block lengths measure the above street lengths and number of connections and compare them to Queen, King, Bloor, Spadina, St. Clair, Yonge, Eglinton etc.

    Pedestrian paths may be better than nothing, however they are not always permanant. Many communities have successfully lobbied to eliminate them as safety risks. Sidewalks that exist along public streets can not be cut off without the city's permission, unlike paths. The safety issue is another problem with paths especially on narrow paths which do not have windows (eyes) on them. This was one of the reasons for re-establishing public streets in Regent Park.
     
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